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Cheap Trick “Special One” is just that and more

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

It is quite apparent, from looking at my past posts, that I am a Cheap Trick fan. I get such a listening thrill from their brand of Rock, both past and present. If Cheap Trick were to have floundered, lost a few steps musically, I would have lost interest in following them – of course. Many bands have done just that, floundered after years of success. (I used to think The Police were going to release a new killer album every 2 to 3 years, way back in 1984… who knew?). Well, enough with this as my opener… Cheap Trick really has done what many bands can only wish for… continued musical output that beams with integrity and relevance. The integrity is represented by Cheap Trick creating Rock/Hard Rock music that for me, is as energy filled, catchy and memorable as the “Dream Police” and/or “All Shook Up” albums from 25 years ago. On “Special One”, (released in 2003), this is not a Rock Band that sounds tired or weary – this is a band that sounds as if they are embarking on a Rock mission with their musical tanks fully loaded, with new ideas. Another aspect of integrity that Cheap Trick bestows, is the plain fact, that they are obviously not remotely attempting to cash in on their name or past success.

“Special One” is quite special indeed… it is a fitting prelude to the “Rockford” album, (released in 2006), where Cheap Trick in my Metal opinion, has landed as convincing a one-two Hard Rock punch that any fan could ever imagine or hope for. (See my “Rockford” review listed under album reviews on Metal Odyssey). Once I listened to “Rockford” upon it’s release, I felt and heard the continuation of what Cheap Trick is truly conveying here – that gifted musicians will always create great music. “Special One” is an album that does not tease at what is to come, this Rock album states of what is to come from Cheap Trick this decade. No watered down ballads, no instant radio hits, rather, “Special One” exemplifies what Rock and Hard Rock used to be, carried over with a flare for todays sound. The songs are accessible, not excessive, written with the blend of lyrics and music that glows with the Cheap Trick brand. That is my case stated for relevance.

Not that I am fast forwarding here, the last track on “Special One” titled “Hummer”, is a song that celebrates the ability for anyone to… hum. All kidding aside, this song is highlighted by the humming vocal tones of Robin Zander. (The liner notes do not suggest anyone else doing the humming, however, each band member does get credited with vocal input). After my first listen to “Hummer”, I was enlightened to now realize that humming is cool in a Rock song… Cheap Trick has made it that way. (Trust me, I still get annoyed when total strangers walk past me in the grocery store humming aloud). The first track titled “Scent Of A Woman” is as classic as it gets with Cheap Trick. The brashness of Rick Nielsen on guitar coupled with the up tempo beat, lends itself to being one of those Cheap Trick songs you have to jump around to. Tracks 2 thru 10, found between the two songs I mentioned here, create the Cheap Trick – Hard Rock sandwich that is flavored with a tad of old school and structured with lyrical/musical perfection, with attitude for today. Longevity in Rock Music does not always equate to cool albums – Cheap Trick’s longevity has equated to the coolest consistency of Rock & Hard Rock, that I hope never ends.

Cheap Trick: Robin Zander – vocals & guitars, Rick Nielsen – guitars & vocals, Tom Petersson – 12 string bass & vocals, Bun E. Carlos – drums & vocals.

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